AudioMicro.com, a small, L.A.-based commercial music licensing startup, said today that it’s closed its first round of funding, from DFJ Frontier. Despite an already well-populated microstock music space, the site’s simple interface and relatively inexpensive pricing — $1 for every download minute and less for bulk purchases — could make it easier for the very smallest web videographers to get inexpensive royalty-free music for their work.
But while its pricing structure could benefit users, AudioMicro doesn’t have the revenue advantages of the more complicated, traditional licensing models that adjust charges (often upward) based on who a user is and the context in which a download is used.
AudioMicro charges less per track than competitors such as Beatsuite, where for non-broadcast use copies start at $20 and move into the hundreds of dollars. Jupiter Media’s eStockMusic sells music tracks for roughly $2 per download minute.
Founder Ryan Born bootstrapped AudioMicro until DFJ chipped in with the $500,000 Series A round, which will help the firm grow to four employees from three and improve its SEO, he said. The site has some 25,000 music and sound effect tracks ready for download, according to Born, and gets roughly 300 submissions from musicians each day. Musicians and AudioMicro split revenue from track downloads evenly, and for submissions distributed exclusively by the company musicians get a 60 percent return. But AudioMicro isn’t making its user metrics public, and only a growth in downloads will show if its pricing gambit works.